Summer has been extremely busy and activity on our Project Car 1955 Dodge has not been very dramatic but that is about to all change. Most of our efforts recently have been to bring life back into the paint of the old Dodge. For the most part this effort was well worth the time and energy. We have been quite pleased with the results on the top half of the car but more testing and elbow grease is needed on the metallic paint on the lower sides.
One of the tasks we were most dreading was the cleaning of the gas tank. We decided early on we would not attempt to clean the old gas tank since it had been sitting for over 30 years. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate anyone who makes a reproduction tank for a 55 Dodge. That put us on the track to locate a shop who could do a professional cleaning of the tank. Once we located a shop in Nashville I pulled the old tank and headed north. I never looked inside the tank. I just knew it would full of crud and scale. Mike at the shop stuck his small light inside, turned the tank a few times and reported there was nothing he could do! My heart sank to the floor and I blurted out that “No one makes a replacement and another used tank will be the same!”
Mike said, “Oh, you misunderstood. This tank is perfect, I can’t get it any cleaner than it already is!” I grabbed his light and looked for myself. It was a clean inside as a brand new tank. If you are in the Nashville area I highly recommend Commercial Radiator Repair LLC, 200 Fessler’s Lane Nashville, 615-251-1551. They could have easily taken my tank, put it on a shelf washed off the outside, charged me several hundred dollars and told me I was good to go a week later. They didn’t, they were honest and will get a lot more work from me as a result. They also put a new core in the 55’s radiator since the fan had killed it many years ago.
I also recommend Alternator & Starter Exchange 331 Wilhagan Road, Nashville, 615-365-7200. They also have done a number of starters, alternators and the 55’s generator for us and always do a fine job.
The Dodge is now off to a restoration shop for a complete engine rebuild, fluids flush, replacement of all soft rubber hoses, replace complete brake system with new parts and other miscellaneous items to get the car back on the road for the first time in decades.
The next step when we get the old girl back will be to add new old school look radial tires, fix a couple of small rust issues, finish the paint restoration and tackle some interior repairs.
Our goal is to have the car ready to see some tour action with our local AACA tour club late this winter or early spring.
We will keep you posted.